Keeping Fashion in the Loop
The fashion and textile industry must transition from a linear to a circular economy. To succeed, all actors must rethink systems, value chains, business models, and consumption patterns. We’re inviting key players to do just that in a new project
This project is a part of our theme
Design methods help us look at problems innovatively – e.g., by working interdisciplinary and questioning the status quo. It is not necessarily about creating something new but seeing, thinking, and acting differently than we have done.
That is exactly what our project Resilient Fashion is all about. The project will bring together key players across the textile value chain to develop joint practical solutions for a circular transformation of the textile value chain – solutions we can implement today.
The Challenge: Mobilizing value chains you don’t own
According to an estimate from the European Parliament, 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are related to the production of clothes and shoes.
The global fashion and textile industry significantly impacts the environment due to its high consumption of energy and water, chemical and microfibre pollution, and challenges in disposing of used clothing in an environmentally responsible manner.
The textile industry is highly progressive and competitive and has been an early adapter with full outsourcing of the entire value chain. That means that very few brands own the production of their products, and even fewer own their suppliers’ sub-suppliers.
Also, the dominating business model within fashion relies on large quantities of products, low prices, and fast delivery. This model can make solving the value chain’s circular challenges extra tricky. But that doesn’t make it any less critical.
The Danish players must be at the forefront of innovation throughout the entire global value chain if we are to deliver responsible circular products, including sustainable textiles, production methods, and transport solutions.
The How: Designing a circular fashion ecosystem
The challenge is systemic and deeply rooted in the fragile value chain of the fashion industry. Solutions, therefore, must be systemic, aiming to demonstrate a sustainable ecosystem of new business models, excellent knowledge, and new partnerships.
Resilient Fashion proposes a fundamental reconfiguration of the existing linear ‘produce-to-waste’ system by exploring the possibilities for establishing a regional circular fashion ecosystem.
If such a system existed, every step in the value chain would work together to ensure that quality fashion products are designed, produced, sold, used, resold, redesigned, recycled, and recreated to extract the product’s maximum financial, material and environmental value.
The project will bring together industry actors across the value chain, from material sourcing, manufacturers, fashion brands, redistributors, and resource management, and reconnect them through dialog and co-creation of new prototypes that can visualize how the future circular solutions, processes, materials, and products can manifest itself.
"The workshop gave me in-depth insight into the entire supply chain and all its actors. We can no longer offer the solution we used to; we have to really understand the value chain's needs and what the new circular partnerships and logistics solutions must be able to do. As a logistics partner, we can and must support many stages, from distribution and storage to packaging and collection, in close cooperation with our customers"
Niels Speich Andersen
Sales Manager Sea & Air Logistics, Kuehne + Nagel A/S
The project will run in 2023 and 2024 with the following flow:
- Understanding the reality of the value chain’s stakeholders
- Understanding the interface between stakeholders and the value creation in each interface
- Identify circular business barriers and opportunities. Making it operational in a circular context
- Prototyping – creating a prototype for a circular value chain and testing the circulation of products. During this phase, we collect data and qualitative material
- Evaluation and implementation of changes.
We aim to present all learnings in an exciting and operational format to inspire others.
Resilient Fashion invites companies from the entire value chain to participate in developing future circular solutions for the textile industry. Among the participants are Skall Studio, Trasborg, Sourcing House, and Fashion Continued.
The project’s advisory board consists of the following members:
- Else Skjold, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
- Gizem Arici, Copenhagen Fashion Week
- Frederik Thrane, Lifestyle & Design Cluster
- Marie Busk, Dansk Fashion and Textile
- Morten Krogh Pedersen, Design School Kolding
The board will continually qualify content and process and carry the project’s learning and experience into a relevant industry context.
We carry out the project in collaboration with the strategic consultancy In futurum.
"We must set the real price for the product, including the environmental footprint and fair social conditions for all levels. For the supplier, it's not about lower prices - it's about collaborations with the right buyers who can see the value in more responsible products and who understand the importance of also paying the real cost price for the product"
Head of CSR and Sustainability, Skall Studio
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